Volume LIXJanuary 2012Number 1

Massing of the Colors
A Celebration of Service at Masonic Village

6,530 American Flags Displayed in Honor of Veterans

A memorial to each soldier who has died in combat since 9/11, the "Massing of the Colors," was on display from Nov. 4 - 14, 2011, in the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown's Veterans Grove. The public was invited to walk through and view the flag display at their leisure, which was lit beautifully for nighttime viewing.

Special events surrounding the display included a Veterans Day Program on Nov. 11 at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown featuring the Navy Club Band of Lancaster County-Ship No. 166, Elizabethtown Mayor Bro. Chuck Mummert and Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682, Elizabethtown. The speaker was Col. Donna N. Hershey, U.S. Army Reserves, Commander of the 307th Medical Brigade, Blacklick, Ohio, and Director of Care and Outpatient Services for the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown.

The "Massing of the Colors" is a memorial created by the National Sojourners-Harrisburg Chapter No. 76, and was set up by volunteers from Masonic Village, the Sojourners, the Navy Club of Lancaster County-Ship No. 166 and the community. The National Sojourners is a Masonic organization of military members which aims to foster appreciation of the American heritage of freedom of life, liberty, religion and free expression. Funds for the flags come from donations and a private grant. It was first displayed on Memorial Day 2004 at the Zembo Shrine Center in Harrisburg to commemorate the deaths of those who have served our country in the War on Terrorism.

"It was our intent to educate people through this memorial to realize how many people are actually giving their lives in service to their country in this war," said Bro. David Broy, memorial chairman and member of William S. Snyder Lodge No. 756, Harrisburg. "Each year it means more to all of us to think about the sacrifice of these individuals."

A video detailing the memorial and other special events is available at www.masonicvillagespa.org/elizabethtown (scroll down) or by clicking on the video link at www.facebook.com/masonicvillages.

Along with the 6,530 flags from the "Massing of the Colors" display, 131 large and 51 small American flags from the "PawPrints for Pennsylvania Patriots Program" was also on display. Through this program, The Grand Chapter of Pennsylvania, Order of the Eastern Star, recently presented a check to Susquehanna Service Dogs for $125,702.59 to provide service dogs for veterans returning home with combat injuries. Supporters purchased flags in memory or honor of a loved one, and the flags have been displayed at the Masonic Villages across the state throughout the last year.

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